According to the Anti-Bullying Alliance (the kind of name you'd hear come out of a Marvel/David Cameron brainstorm), over half of all British school kids are bullied out of a hobby they're talented in and have a passion for because they're worried that they're going to be teased. That's both sad and kind of ridiculous (just take up something really fucking cool, like amateur magic or judo, then no one will make fun of you—duh) and made us wonder how many great talents the world has been denied because of idiotic school bullies.
To find out, we asked some people a question: What's your most embarrassing talent?
Bill, 21 (left) and Ed, 26.
Bill: I can suck my big toe. I used to bite my toenails.
Tasty. Have you ever brought that out at a party?
Nah, but I might now that you've mentioned it. The response from my friends usually isn't great, though. I’ve got a pretty abnormally big to, so they’re like “Why would you put that in your mouth?”
Fair enough. Does that talent transfer to anywhere else on your body?
It does not. I’m not that talented. What’s your talent, Ed?
Ed: I can Morris dance (English folk dancing) to a very high standard.
Bill: Ah, man. That’s better than my talent all day long.
Ed: Peer pressure killed my dream of becoming a professional Morris dancer, though. My sister told everyone in my year and they all turned up to a recital and saw me dancing.
That’s brutal. Did you get beaten up for being a sissy?
Oh no, I didn’t get beaten up for it. I went to school in Matlock, Derbyshire, which isn't like your city schools where kids get stabbed. Most of my close friends respected me for being who I wanted to be.
That's inspiring. So you didn't get bullied out of it by your friends?
I think I got bullied by my parents, actually.
That’s not bullying, mate, that’s child abuse.
Richard, 19: I don’t have any I’m willing to say on the microphone. Actually, I produce music and I got picked on once in class because everyone was saying that, because I'm not hunk and I wear glasses, I can't make music.
Wow, that's incredibly dumb. Did it put you off music?
It did for like two weeks. But then I just carried on without telling people about it.
It’s hardly embarrassing, though. What else you got?
I sew. People tease me a little bit for that because it makes you look gay.
It doesn't sound like you hang out with very nice people, Richard.
Pebbles, 33: I have double-jointed thumbs.
Woah. So what sort of response does that usually get out of people?
Just what you've done there, basically. It's useful because I can roll a joint with one hand. I've got a double-jointed jaw, as well.
How does that work?
Well, basically, someone punches you in the jaw and it snaps right back into place.
That’s cool—how did you find out about that?
I was in a doorway sleeping once, when one guy pissed on me and another one decided to punch me.
Dark. I’m sorry I asked.
Shah, 26 (left) and Ash, 29.
That’s not really a talent, though—anyone can do that.
Shah: You haven’t heard his farts—they go on forever, like a really long beat.
Ash: Yeah, I can clear a room with one.
Long beat? So you do musical farts?
Yeah, when they come out it’s like I’m laying down a track.
So you beat box with your ass?
I wish, I’d go on Britain’s Got Talent if I could do that.
Shah: You’d have to go perform in front of the queen, though.
Ash: What’s the matter with that? I’ve met her before—I don't think I'd be too intimidated to fart in front of her.
OK, let's get off this topic. Have you ever made fun of someone with a weird talent?
Never. I always respect that kind of thing, to be honest. I’d quiz them on it and get some tips, but never tease them. My mate's sister can go cross-eyed then control each eye individually. It's amazing.
Shah: The only person with a weird talent I've made fun of is an old colleague who could gurn, like pull his lip over his face and shit. Yeah, I used to rip into him.
Martin, 28 and Risa, 28.
Martin: Yeah, I’m a ballet dancer, so when I was a kid, definitely. It never really put me off, though. I just stepped aside and did my own thing.
Good for you. How about you, Risa?
Risa: Well, I’ve never been bullied for it, but just the oddity of dancing between continents and not having a base—people don’t really understand how that’s possible.
Oh, OK. What’s the weirdest talent you’ve seen from someone else?
Martin: I think queefing is a pretty amazing talent.
Risa: Queefing on command—now that’s a talent!
Martin: My Spanish friend Dorris has a sister called Kame; she can queef on command and it’s pretty exceptional.
Cool, I guess. Is that her party trick?
No, I think it’s more for her living room.
Risa: I’ve got a group of female friends who did a performance art piece about queefing. They’d go on stage and try getting into different positions to be able to queef as much as they could. The person who would queef the longest would win a prize.
I don't know how to respond to that.
Previously - Would You Rather Be in Gaza or Syria Right Now?